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Newbie Upgrading


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#1
dospoy

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Ok so I have a cusotm built pc, and it was the first one i ever built. I have a P4 3.0 HT and a crappy video card.

I'm looking at upgrading to a core 2 duo, but do I need a new motherboard, or does it use the same socket as the p4?


Also, I was stingy with money when it came time to buy the motherboard, so i dont know if I should upgrade, (I dont know exact specs, im at work now)

When it comes to gaming, what will actually be affected by the motherboard? Is a "decent" motherboard good enough, or should I get absolutely top of the line?

And I'm a total newb when it comes to video cards, I know nothing. Im assuming I should get a PCI express? but thats about all i know, any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. (I need a computer for work asap, and since its for work, my office is paying for most of it so money isnt a huge priority)

Thanks for your help, this site rocks!!
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#2
troppo

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well a P4 @ 3.0 Ghz is still pretty fast now days so what will you be doing with this computer???

a crappy video card will be "bottlenecking" your CPU and whole system (depending on what video card it actually is)

how much RAM do you have installed at the moment?

yes intel core 2 duo and P4's run on the same socket but the chipsets are different and its highly unlikely that a P4 board will accept a core 2 duo unless it is a fairly new motherboard

unless your doing extensive work on the PC as in highly extensive a P4 should be fine runing at 3.0GHz

as far as video cards go you cant just buy a PCI-Express video card unless your motherboard has the PCI-Express interface im guessig that your motherboard at the moment only has AGP which you can still find some pretty good grahics cards out there for AGP...

also how much are you wnating to spend???

i dont think that you will see a huge performance gain if your not doing anything majorly extensive

also what Core 2 Duo CPU are you looking at?


troppo
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#3
Bartender

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troppo makes several good points.
You mention trying to save money when you purchased a motherboard. Some of the budget boards provide onboard video and no graphics expansion slot. That will be the deal-breaker for you. If the board has one PCI-X graphics slot and you don't need SLI your existing PC has promise. If it only has onboard vid and no expansion slot then yeah, you should move on.
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#4
dospoy

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Hmmmm

I dont have a mobo that supports pci express, im sure about that, (i didnt know you needed a special one)

I have and agp 8x (i think) video card now. I guess I'm fine with the speed of my computer, but I'm mainly using my desktop for multimedia and gaming. I play fps a lot and have a lot of music and movies.

I have 1 gig corsair RAM, i dont think thats a problem, maybe it is.

But when I run fps on high settings its a little choppy.

Can anyone let me know of a good agp video card?

I dont care how much it is.
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#5
kidnova

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You're kind of limited with your choices of AGP cards. I think your best options are the ATI X800 series or nvidia 7600 series. Go to Newegg.com and narrow your search to AGP 8X cards.
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#6
warriorscot

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What card do you have now?
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#7
dospoy

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Ok so I just bought a new video card, and my mobo is on its way (thank you newegg).

Next week ill be ordering a core2 duo, not sure which one yet.

The only question i have left is about ram. I'm completely clueless. What do the PCxxx numbers mean? Do I want high or low numbers? And the mobo I ordered supports ddr2, so im assuming i should get ddr2 instead of ddr.

Any help with this subject would be greatly appreciated. or if anyone can send me a link to a tutorial about ram...that would be great. Thanks!
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#8
kidnova

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If you look at the specifications of your mobo, it will tell you what type of RAM it supports. You definitely want to get DDR2 if that's what your mobo supports, as DDR will not work.
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#9
dospoy

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what speed should I get...pc3200 or pc6400? :whistling: so confused
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#10
Ryan_88

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higher number the better!!!!

but remember - just as long as your mobo supports it!!!

could try doing a test on www.crucial.com
they tell you exactly what RAM ur mobo will take

ry
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#11
dospoy

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this is the motherboard im getting, it will run on ddr2? it says dual channel supported, not sure if that means ddr2, if not i guess i should get a different one.


http://www.tigerdire...e...&CatId=2438



I'm getting this board to run with my geforce7900 video card...and i have a p4, 3.0.....just until i can afford a core2duo....will a 500watt power supply suffice.

I know if i get another video card and I should get a 600, but im only using one...do i need to go that high?
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#12
kidnova

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According to the link you provided:
Memory Expansion
The P5N32-SLI SE Deluxe provides 4 DIMM sockets using Dual Channel 240-pin DDR2 with a total capacity of up to 4GB. You can install DDR2 533/667/800MHz Memory.

So, if you want the fastest memory that your mobo supports, then go with PC2 6400 at 800MHz.

And 500W should be fine as long as it is a quality PSU. Some cheap PSUs claim 500W, but that's really an "optimum" number that it will never really reach. If you do plan on going SLI at some point then you will want to bump it up to 600W. Go with Antec or Enermax. Thermaltake is good too.

Edited by kidnova, 10 October 2006 - 02:56 PM.

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#13
warriorscot

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By the time you can afford core 2, Quadro will be out(november). Probably not a good idea to get a 7900 so close to dx10(again november is the estimate release date) its a bit expensive and the price for dx9 cards will plummet after dx10 release.
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#14
dospoy

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ok so the quad....its a processor? will i need a new motherboard to use it? and i already have the video card, but i will upgrade to the dx10.
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#15
kidnova

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Honestly, unless you're planning on doing some heavy multitasking, you're not going to see many benefits from the quadro over a core 2 duo system. Quadro systems are much more beneficial for servers and the like.

However, warriorscot has a good point as far as graphic cards are concerned. Go with a 7600GT for now (around $120 US) which will serve you well for now, and spend the big $ in about a year when DX10 cards are readily available.
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